Characteristics of a cottage garden are informality, use of old-fashioned plant materials, and rampant, colorful growth. Touches of whimsy add to the casual feel. A mix of low-maintenance annuals, perennials, and self-sowing biennials of varied height and colors form a carefree, densely planted style.
Within the Cottage Garden are several micro-climates, so a shade area, a rock garden area, and a xeriscape area have been planted to take advantage of varying conditions.
Cottage Garden Plantings
- Campanula (Bell flower)
- Corylopsis (Winter hazel)
- Dianthus (Pinks)
- Paeonia (Peony)
- Perovskia (Russian sage)
- Phygelius ‘Moonraker’ (Cape fuchsia)
- Rosa ‘Pierre de Ronsard’ (Pink climbing rose)
Shade Area Plantings
- Alchemilla(Lady’s mantle)
- Carex elata ‘Aurea’ (Bowles golden sedge)
- Geranium (Cranesbill)
- Helleborus (Hellebore)
- Humulus (Golden hops)
- Hydrangea quercifola (Oakleaf hydrangea)
- Polystichum (Sword fern)
- Sarcococca (Sweet box)
Xeriscape Area Plantings
- Agastache (Licorice mint)
- Buddleja (Butterfly bush)
- Crambe cordifolia
- Centranthus (Red valerian)
- Echinacea purpurea (Purple coneflower)
- Lychnis (Rose campion)
- Monarda (Bee balm)
- Penstemon (Beard tongue)
- Philadelphus (Mock orange)
- Salvia (Sage)
Outline your planting beds with a hose or rope to use as a digging guide.
Plant in drifts.
Use drain rocks under the eaves of a building to prevent backsplash.
Add old farm tools, implements, or other “found” objects to the garden to provide interest, focal points, and whimsy.
Variegated foliage and chartreuse plants add brightness to shady areas.
Drought tolerant plants still need water.